No power, no heat in Hartford County following a freak storm on Saturday night.¬ Unfortunately,
I haven't been able to see the slate of games from the weekend.¬ Power is expected out for a week,
but hopefully I will find a way to post in detail tomorrow.
Did the storm impact attendance?
Will 3 million without power in the Northeast impact the television ratings for the games?
The MLS Cup Playoffs are under way with New York the first team to advance out of the newly
minted Wildcard round.¬ The first playoff match was televised on FSC.¬ However, with the
Colorado/Columbus match not scheduled to be televised nationally, MLS smartly made the match
available to all fans via the website.
It is the time of year when votes are cast in Major League Soccer.¬ These include the VW Most
Valuable Player, Allstate Goalkeeper of the year Defender of the Year, Coach of the Year, referee
awards and more (there are less with sponsors this year as compared to last year). We cast our
votes earlier this week and will certainly report on the winners when they are announced.
The big news last week was the announcement that FOX was awarded the English language rights to
the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.¬ FOX outbid NBC and ESPN to claim the rights for approximately
$400 million dollars.¬ The Spanish language rights were won by Telemundo for an estimated $400
Last week, Seattle-based Korrio and Wisconsin-based Axon Sports, teamed up to gather information
about and raise awareness of concussions in youth soccer through a new joint initiative. Korrio CEO
Steve Goldman was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with us about the new initiative. Mr.
Goldman has 25 years of experience in the technology industry, with a history of building emerging
companies into market leaders.
Busy final regular season in Major League Soccer, but before we get to the attendance numbers,
here are some quick hits from the weekend.¬ First, the big story on Friday was the Fox and
Telemudno victories in securing the 2018 and 2022 US World Cup bids.¬ The total bid price was
approximately one billion dollars.
Just some quick thoughts on the FIFA bidding process. For more detail on the ongoing effort to
secure rights fees for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, take a look at some of the other posts
Last night Grant Wahl tweeted that the FIFA World Cup bidding process was not quite finalized.¬
Despite expectations that the winner of rights to the 2018, 2022 World Cup (along with other events
including Womens World Cups and youth tournaments), would be announced Thursday or Friday, Wahl has
reported that FIFA has requested new bids.
Earlier this week we wrote about the bid submission process for television rights to the 2018
and 2022 FIFA World Cup.¬ Those bids were submitted today in a closed door meeting.¬ English and
Spanish language rights are both in play.¬ An announcement on the winner could come as early as
Friday.¬ As we said a couple of days back,the stakes are especially high since both ESPN and NBC
have rights to MLS through 2014.
It has been a while since we have had to put our lawyer hat on to look at an issue facing
American soccer.¬ However, the news just broke that DC United forward Charlie Davies has filed a
$20 million lawsuit against various parties stemming from his car accident in 2009.¬ The
defendants in the suit include the bar that hosted the event where he spent his night and Red Bull
North America, an event sponsor.
Just a few months back, soccer fans around the world eagerly waited announcement¬ of the host
countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.¬ The conventional wisdom suggested that an award of
future World Cup to the United States was essential for the ongoing development of the sport in
Busy weekend in Major League Soccer with the regular season winding down and the playoffs just a
few days away.¬ The attendance story for the week is the juggernaut in Seattle, which saw more
than 62,000 for Kasey Keller's sendoff match. Sales were buttressed by a multi-game package that
included this game, but the total sales are extremely impressive.
On the road tonight, so we thought we would revisit an interview we did from the start of the
2011 MLS season.¬ Back then, Emigidio Gamboa of the Chicago Fire was kind enough to answer a few
questions about the Fire's promotional efforts for 2011, the team's use of social media and more.¬
Now as the season comes to a close, it makes sense to take a look back to see how some of these
The playoffs are looming and the last few regular season games are here.¬ It has been a while
since we looked at promotional efforts around the league, so we thought the stretch drive presented
a good opportunity to look at ticket sales efforts for the end of the season and start of post
season.¬ We'll start in Chicago where the Fire are running a "pink" themed promotion as part of
Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Left at the alter by Major League Soccer, Fox Soccer has nevertheless managed to maintain a
prominent position in the world of televised soccer.¬ The network announced that they have
re-upped their deal with the English Football Association to extend their exclusive rights for six
more years through the 2017/2018 season.
Big news on the sponsorship front from longtime partner Panasonic.¬ The electronics company
announced that they have extended their deal with Major League Soccer through 2014 to serve as the
league's "Official Consumer Electronics Partner".¬ In addition, the company announced that they
have reached an agreement with US soccer to serve as a similar sponsor/partner for the Men's and
Women's National Teams.
Quite weekend in Major League Soccer because of an international break, but there will still
some items of business significance.¬ Before we get to attendance, here are a few other stories of
interest.¬ We'll start in Montreal, where the Impact have announced that they have surged past the
5,000 mark in season ticket sales for the 2012 season.
Just a few quick hits from around the soccer business landscape.¬ We'll start with David
Beckham, who is nearing the end of his Galaxy contract while continuing to play at a high level.¬
ESPN.com is reporting (via the Associated Press), that Becks "personal income" from sponsor ship
deals rose 30% last year.
As we do every so often, today we present a business blog of a prominent televised soccer
event.¬ The New York/Los Angeles rivalry provides the latest installment in this regular feature.¬
The match was rescheduled into weekday prime time because of Hurricane Irene and provides a
national outlet for the Red Bulls' diminishing playoff hopes.
We have repeatedly posted about the MLS shopping experience. From a shortage of gear at brick
and mortar retailers, to the absence of infant sized Galaxy items to the improved online
experience, we have repeatedly written about procuring MLS items.¬ Today we are pleased to present
some thoughts from Stu Crystal, Major League Soccer's Vice President of Consumer Products, about
shopping for league merchandise.
Busy week in Major League Soccer with Champions League group stage matches, important jockeying
for playoff position and the opening of Bell Pitch Downtown in Vancouver.¬ Before we¬ get to
attendance, here are a couple of thoughts on the inagural match at the league's newest showpiece.¬
First, it is unfortunate that the game was not part of a national telecast.